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New Here - Could Use Some Advice

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by DobieMom, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. DobieMom

    Thread Starter

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2017
    United States United States
    Hi my name is Melissa and here's my story...

    I've been having weird things happening with my hips my entire life. When I was a teen I often felt like my hip was dislocating, especially when squatting to vacuum under the beds. I'd then do all kinds of weird motions and my mom was like, "What the heck are you doing???" and I would reply, "Trying to get my hip back in joint!" She thought I was nuts. I just knew that after it was "back in" it would feel like there was a pinching kind of pain like there was something caught in there.

    Flash forward almost 35 years and here we are. I'm 47 and have had snapping sounds coming from my left hip on and off for years. When it occurred I would think "What the heck??" And then forget about it once it stopped. However during the last year, I am beginning to feel pain when sitting and leaning on my desk, and then once I get up, I can barely move my left leg, and it hurts so I start limping. Once I'm standing up for a few minutes, though, then I'm able to walk normally again.

    I'm also having pain if I walk too much, which is definitely an issue because I have been trying to lose weight due to pre-diabetes which went undiagnosed. I knew something was wrong because I was gaining weight daily but I was hardly eating!

    A few months ago I could walk ¾ mile before the pain got too bad. I suddenly realized I'd been living with this pain on and off for a really long time -- why had I not had it checked? It was becoming a problem more and more so I finally went to orthopedic surgeon who did X-rays and saw right away that the problem was a congenital problem from birth -- hip dysplasia!

    My left hip is only 50% in the socket and the right hip 60%. This has caused osteoarthritis and a cyst in my hip (see X-ray pic attached - red arrow points to cyst). My OS said the MRI says there is no labral tear so there is nothing surgical at this time -- but there is bad hip dysplasia with osteoarthritis and I will need a total hip replacement once the pain becomes unbearable. He said I should be having difficulties sleeping, walking 2 blocks and going up stairs (basically miserable with pain all the time) before having the replacement surgery.

    I was honestly shocked to hear this! I thought a lot of the pain I had was related to my back problems! I have 3 herniated disks and had back surgery 4 years ago -- it was to remove disk fragments from the nerve running to my foot. When the disks blew, the fragments fell down to the next disk level and was compressing the nerve going to my foot, so my foot and reflexes were not working! I wound up having a microdiskectomy to remove the herniated portion of one disk of the 3 (reherniated within 4 months of the surgery without any event causing it) and they did a hemilaminectomy to open the bone up and create a wider archway for the nerve to run through. An MRI 4 months later showed I would need a 4 level fusion surgery at some point in the future and I have ostrophytes growing off my vertebrae and other things too.

    So when I was getting pain, I immediately thought it was radiating from my back! They did make note of something in my MRI about my back - said I have degenerative changes both in the lumbar disks and adjacent end plates. So now I'd say a month has passed since the MRI and I am having more and more pain. If I sleep more than 4 hours I wake up in terrible pain than doesn't really go away despite having a wonderful latex bed that I was sleeping blissfully in after my back surgery. I now have pain in both the left and right hip and when I went to a few stores this weekend, I left in tears.

    Now to my question: how do I know it's time to pull the trigger and do the surgery?

    I'm 47, work full time and have a 14 year old daughter that I chauffeur to school, to dance and to cheer so I'm pretty active. I just checked my MRI results and now they say there IS a tear of the left acetabular labrum, initial encounter... not sure what to think!

    Anyway, I'm in pain more and more and now I'm noticing that it's worse when it's raining out. I have been taking Advil but honestly I don't think it does much for the pain!

    I rested for hours after I was in tears on Saturday and the soreness remained. My OS recommended I see a rheumatologist. My appt is in a few weeks and I'm praying he can give me some meds that will help the arthritis and the pain. Any suggestions for me?

    I'm noticing that crossing my legs is becoming painful and leaning forward while sitting exacerbates it. What's the best position to be in? Any suggestions to keep the pain at a minimum while at work? I do office work so yes there's a lot of sitting...

    So how fast will this accelerate before I can't take it anymore and I need the surgery? Maybe it's because I'm more aware now of what I'm feeling, or am I feeling more pain that quickly? How fast does this situation erode??

    How long does a total hip replacement last? I'm concerned that doing it at such a young age will necessitate going through it several times! How long before I'll be allowed to drive? How will my daughter get to school??

    Sorry but I have so many questions... thanks for listening!

  2. Susan209


    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Australia Australia
    Hi @DobieMom and welcome to BS. Wow, what a story.
    I don't really have answers to your questions, but I do think there is no such thing as "too young". I'm 39 and getting a new hip tomorrow. Also, probably best to avoid things that aggravate your hip.
    I'm sure one of the moderators will be along shortly, who should be able to help you out more than I can.
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  3. MammaT


    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2016
    United States United States
    Welcome @DobieMom --I think you have come to the right site! I don't think there is a way to determine when it gets to the point you can't take it--it's individual and hard to predict.

    With my left hip, I had pain off and on for a couple of years and then in one month it got to basically be intolerable all the time. I had to wait almost 8 weeks by the time I waved the white flag and it was horrible. I had a left THR in August of 2017 and recovery went better that I thought. I was able to drive at around 3 weeks (left leg, automatic car), and recovery continued after that.

    While not the best thing to do, I did start back to work (desk job) 2 hours a day at 4 weeks or so and was full time after my 6 week check up. My right hip is not as bad as my left in terms of constant pain, but now I know the symptoms. In terms of X-ray--it isn't collapsed but is on its way.

    My OS and his PA say I absolutely don't have to wait until it is intolerable unless I choose to. With the right, I found that no drugs could help bone on bone pain. Since OS is scheduling 3 months out, I went ahead and got a slot for February (earliest he had). I am hopeful it doesn't get intolerable before then, but I have a plan. I also hope that by getting it done sooner, recovery will be better (other members have shared that is true in their case).

    There is never a "good time" for the surgery and I got to the point where driving was terrifically painful and getting worse. Reach out to friends and parents of your daughter's friends. I found that people are willing to help, especially on a short term basis, if we ask (and I am terrible at admitting I need help!). In terms of how long the replacement lasts, a woman at my work had a THR 20 years ago when she was in her 40's and it is still good.

    Good luck with your doctor appointments. Read the literature on this site. Be good to yourself.
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  4. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2017
    United States United States
    Whew! That's a lot. Sorry for your struggles, Melissa.
    I'd say there is no time like the present. You've suffered enough and it will only get worse, possibly affecting other joints as you favor aching ones. There are people your age and younger having joints replaced. It's not so much an age thing as it is quality of life. There is a great possibility from all I've read here and elsewhere that your replacement could possibly see you through life. A lot to consider but I'd check out all my options and weigh out how your life has changed. You'll know when it's time to pull the trigger.
    Start researching and reading some stories here. It may help guide you in the right direction for your situation.
    As for driving....anywhere from 3-6 weeks often dependent on being off the heavy meds. How will your daughter get to school you ask....You will need to develop a reliable support system through your spouse, SO, family or friends to help you for a few weeks. Recovery moves quickly. You'll be surprised.
    Wishing you the best.....stay in touch @DobieMom
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  5. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, DIRECTOR Administrator

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2007
    The North
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    That was my thinking when I read the first paragraph!
    Even if there was a labral tear it would be totally irrelevant given the rest of your diagnosis.
    It's very, very easy to get back and hip pain mixed up.
    Waste of time my dear! A rheumatologist won't be able to do a thing for you and there is no medication known to man that will adequately manage arthritis pain. Sorry but that's a fact.
    Oh it will last around 30-40 years! And as for being 'such a young age' We have many, many members in their 30s, 20s and even teenagers who've had hip replacements for dysplasia! Very common!

    You might like to see our star, shugaplum, who had her hip done at the tender age of 24 and two years later gave birth to a fine baby boy!


    You might also take a look here Teenage hip replacements
    Seem to me like you are at that point now! Judging by your xrays, they both need doing and soon! The cyst is neither here nor there but the condition of the joint is! The longer you leave it, the worse it will get, the worse the referred pain to your back will get and the worse condition your muscles and ligaments will get into.

    I suggest you print this document off and fill it in. The details are for you information only so don't post them on the forum. But it will tell you quite clearly what stage you are at! You can also take it to your surgeon when you tell him you want it done NOW!

    Attached Files:

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